Healthcare and medical care
Hospitals in Egypt´s large towns and tourist areas are of an international standard. Medical costs are high by Finnish standards. When travelling to Egypt, you should take out comprehensive travel insurance.
Doctors in Egypt have frequently studied abroad. Primary healthcare services are sufficiently available especially in the areas of Cairo, Alexandria and Sharm el Sheikh, but the availability of demanding treatment in some areas may be limited.
The majority of public hospitals do not accept foreign insurance documents as payment commitments and require payment in cash. When you pay for medical services yourself, the doctor or hospital will provide you with a receipt and a breakdown of the treatment, which you can submit to your insurance company. Pharmacies, too, will provide you with an official receipt for medicines purchased. These documents shown the doctor´s details, name in capitals as well as the contact information of the consultation office and hospital (address, telephone and fax number, and website address in the case of hospitals).
Private medical care is available, especially in Cairo (International Medical Centre and Anglo American Hospital) and in Alexandria (German Hospital). The doctors and medical staff usually speak English. Private hospitals often accept foreign insurance documentation as a payment commitment. You should ask the hospital about this in advance.
If you are health insured in Finland, and have received treatment in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. You are entitled for the same reimbursement that you would have received if you had been treated in the private healthcare system in Finland. Please note that the reimbursement usually covers only a small part of the costs of the treatment. Thus, taking out a comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
Some hotels in tourist resorts, for example, in El Gouna and Hurghada, can work in partnership with doctors. A hotel can call for a doctor.
The ambulance emergency number in Egypt is 123, but ambulance service availability varies by area. Healthcare services outside large towns are often inadequate, especially with respect to demanding medical care.
In general, pharmacies are widely available in Egypt and many medications can be obtained without a prescription. When you purchase medicines, make sure that the product is in its original packaging and clearly labelled. Some pharmacies sell counterfeit medicines which, in the worst case scenario, can be dangerous.